Understanding the basis of dollar spot resistance in endophyte-infected fine fescues may suggest new approaches to dollar spot management in other grass species. Current management practices involve heavy use of fungicides. This project will also contribute basic information on the fungal endophyte-host grass symbiosis. The specific relationship between endophyte and plant is not well understood. We hypothesize that endophyte infection results in changes in the host gene expression that are key for maintenance of the symbiotic relationship. High-throughput sequencing provides an unprecedented opportunity to characterize the gene expression in plants that do not have fully sequenced genomes. Our experimental system is such that the host genome is identical in all three samples, therefore any differences in host gene expression are attributable to the presence of the fungal endophytes. Differences in host gene expression between the endophyte-infected samples can be attributed to the presence of the different endophyte strains. In all three samples the host genotype is the same with the Rose City endophyte infecting its normal host grass species and the Delaware endophyte infecting a non-normal host grass species. Identification of the host genes whose expression is affected by the presence of the endophyte and the fungal genes expressed in the interaction may help uncover the basis of the endophyte-mediated dollar spot resistance in fine fescues.
|Effective start/end date||10/1/10 → 9/30/15|